Speaking Skills: Summarising
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich say goodbye to the World Cup in Russia. Jack didn't watch the World Cup Final because he got the kick-off time wrong so Rich sums up what happened. The language focus is on summarising skills and they talk about what you need to do to give a good summary for someone and also look at lots of words and phrases you can use when summarising something. They also take a look at some common collocations with the words 'match' and 'game'. Your task is to write a summary of a football match or tournament, a book or a film or a recent news story. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess at the end of the podcast. Enjoy!
Rich: What did you think of the final then?
Jack: Yeah, it was a great game, wasn’t it?
Rich: I was glued to the screen.
Jack: Yeah, me too.
Rich: And that goal by Pogba. What a cracker!
Jack: Yeah, it was really good.
Rich: Croatia were unlucky with that penalty decision.
Jack: Yeah, very unlucky.
Rich: Mmmm, I can’t believe Modric got a red card for Croatia.
Jack: Yeah, me neither. A terrible decision.
Rich: That overhead kick by Olivier Giroud was amazing!
Jack: Absolutely brilliant.
Rich: HA! Got you! You didn’t watch it, did you!
Jack: What? What do you mean?
Rich: You didn’t watch the World Cup FInal!
Jack: Err .. no. A bit embarrassing but I got the kick-off time wrong. But I heard it was a good game, though.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we are going to take a final look at the World Cup and help you summarise something that you have seen or read.
Jack: That’s right. It could be a film, a book, a concert, a TV programme ...
Rich: Or a football match and that is the example that we will use in this podcast.
Jack: We will also focus on some vocabulary for you to learn. We’re going to look at some specific words and phrases that we use when summarising things or telling someone about something you’ve seen or heard.
Rich: And as a bonus we’re going to take a look at some collocations with the words match and game. Words that often go together like it was a great game or a great match.
Jack: But more about the language in a bit. In the next section, you are going to hear us talking about the World Cup Final between France and Croatia.
Rich: Oh and don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Rich: Hey, Jack. What you doing here?
Jack: I’ve brought snacks!
Rich: Err … nice one, but what for?
Jack: Be quiet! France v Croatia kicks off at eight.
Rich: Err … Jack … it’s already finished. It kicked off at five.
Jack: You are joking! What happened?
Rich: I can’t believe you’ve missed it. You’d have loved it. It was a brilliant match. A really close game.
Jack: Come on! Who won?
Rich: There was an electric atmosphere in the stadium. Loads of Croatian fans in the stadium and a massive thunderstorm … that made the atmosphere even better.
Jack: OK, ok ... a good atmosphere.
Rich: Croatia were much the better side. They didn’t stop attacking and France couldn’t get on the ball.
Jack: So, Croatia won?
Rich: France took the lead against the run of play with the first chance they had. It wasn’t even a chance. It was an own goal.
Jack: Oh no! So France won?
Rich: Croatia carried on attacking and equalised a few minutes later. It was a great goal you’ll love it when you see it.
Jack: Come on, I don’t want a full match report. So, Croatia won, right? Just give it to me in a nutshell!
Rich: All right, to cut a long story short, France won 4-2!
Jack: Wow! Sounds like it was an amazing match. I was hoping for a 0-0 as I missed it.
Rich: It wasn’t a dull match that’s for sure. It was a really competitive game. Basically, I think Croatia were really unlucky in the first half but, at the end of the day, France probably deserved to win.
Jack: So, on balance you’d say that I should probably check what time matches kick off?
Rich: Definitely. All in all, I’d say that it’s been the best World Cup that I can remember.
Jack: Do you want a crisp?
Rich: In the roleplay, we used quite a few different words and phrases that are useful when we are reviewing or summarising something for someone else. Let’s look at a few of those things now.
Jack: When we begin a spoken summary or review of something we might say something like ‘basically’ this word is used when you are going to say just the important things - nothing that is unnecessary. Rich said ‘Basically, I think Croatia were really unlucky’.
Rich: We could use other adverbs such as essentially or fundamentally here but I think basically is the most common.
Jack: So, when we summarise we use only important information and we make things shorter. We use phrases to tell the listener that we are giving them a shorter version or summary.
Rich: Jack said ‘can you give it to me in a nutshell’ and I responded with ‘to cut a long story short’. Both these phrases are used to say this is the short version. They are both idioms and are quite informal and are best to be used when speaking rather than writing.
Jack: We also use specific words and phrases in summaries to conclude or finish a summary or review. Rich said ‘at the end of the day France deserved to win’ and ‘all in all, I’d say it’s the best World Cup I can remember’.
Rich: And Jack said ‘on balance, you’d say I should check the time more’. This is similar to ‘taking all things into consideration’ or ‘all things considered’.
Jack: You can look at these phrases and do an activity on the podcast page below this podcast.
Rich: In the roleplay, you may have noticed we used the word match and game quite a lot. There are some collocations that are much stronger than others.
Jack: For example, it’s much more common to say ‘great game’ or ‘great match’ than ‘brilliant match’ or ‘fantastic game’.
Rich: A dull match is a strong collocation to mean a boring game and a close match means that the result of the match was always in the balance. A competitive match can mean the same as a close match but it can also mean that there were lots of tackles and a little more aggression than normal.
Jack: If you can think of any more strong collocations with match or game, write them in the comments section below.
Rich: In the roleplay, I gave Jack a summary or review of the World Cup final. We often give summaries about things that we have seen or heard. You might tell someone about a book you’ve read or a film you’ve seen.
Jack: Or maybe a concert you’ve been to or even something special you might have done at the weekend or a place you’ve been to or a holiday you’ve had.
Rich: When you give a summary or review there are some things you can do to structure what you say better. The best thing to do is to answer as many of these five questions as you can.
Jack: Who was involved?, What happened?, When did it happen?, Where did it happen? Why did it happen?
Rich: If you have answers to most of these questions you will have all the key information you need to give a good summary.
Rich: So, let’s think of a news story as an example. You may have read about this one recently.
Jack: Who was involved? A group of young footballers and their coach. Where did it happen? In Thailand. When did it happen? Last week. What happened? The footballers and their coach got stuck for over 2 weeks in a cave but they were rescued. Why did it happen? The footballers went into a cave but were surprised when the water rose rapidly and couldn’t escape.
Rich: So, if you wanted to summarise this to someone else you might say something like:
Jack: Did you hear about those boys that got stuck in that cave?
Rich: No, what happened?
Jack: Basically, a month or so ago some boys and their football coach went into a cave in Thailand and got stuck in there for days when the waters in the cave got higher. They were found by a diver who went for help. It was really difficult to get to them and it needed the Thai Navy and international divers to get them out and one diver died. At the end of the day, it was a pretty happy ending to what could have been an even bigger tragedy.
Rich: Your task this week is to summarise something that you have done, seen or read in the last few months.
Jack: We are going to give you three options. Option number one: a football match or tournament that you have watched. Option number two: a film you have seen or book that you have read. Option number three: a news story that you have seen or read about.
Rich: In your summaries, you need to include some of the vocabulary we have used in this podcast.
Jack: You should also think about the five questions we gave you in the examples and add your opinions and recommendations if appropriate.
Rich: Write all your summaries in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was Golden Boot. This award is given to the player who scores the most goals at the World Cup. England’s Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Russia.
Rich: Well done to Kwesimanifest from Ghana, Acicala from Spain, Ahmed Adam from Sudan, Milos from Serbia, Josias Guanoluisa from Colombia, Lakerwang from China, Buchiy from Japan and Luibomyr from Ukraine. You all got the right answer.
Jack: This week’s football phrase is ***-****** ********. The World Cup is over and the Premier League hasn’t started yet but the players are back in training. So, how do they get match practice? They play lots of ***-****** **********. Manchester Utd, for example, are in the USA and they are going to play ***-****** ********** against Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Jack: If you have enjoyed this podcast or found it useful, leave us a rating or review and that will help other people find us.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
I was glued to the screen.
There was an electric atmosphere in the stadium.
France took the lead against the run of play with the first chance they had.
Some boys and their football coach went into a cave in Thailand and got stuck.
There were a few tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.
Words and phrases we use when summarising something
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich used quite a few different words and phrases that are useful when we are summarising something for someone else. Look at these five examples from the podcast:
Basically, I think Croatia were really unlucky
Can you give it to me in a nutshell?
All right, to cut a long story short, France won 4-2!
At the end of the day, France deserved to win.
All in all, I’d say it’s the best World Cup I can remember.
All of these phrases are used when summarising. Basically is used to tell people that you are just going to give them the most important information. In a nutshell and to cut a long story short are both idioms which are used to tell people that you are giving them the short version of a story rather than the full or longer version. At the end of the day and all in all are used to conclude a summary and to give your final opinion.
Do you know any other words or phrases that are similar to these?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack spoke about one important thing to do in order to give a good summary. They said that the best thing to do is make sure you give the listener all the key or most important information. They said that the best way to do this is to think about what you are summarising and try to answer as many of these five questions as you can:
- Who was involved?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
Jack summarised a news story about the trapped football team in Thailand. Had you heard about this story?
A summary or review:
Your task this week is to summarise something that you have done, seen or read in the last few months. You can choose to summarise:
a football match or tournament that you have watched
a film you have seen or book that you have read
a news story that you have seen or read about
Write your summaries in the comments section below and use some of the words and phrases that you heard in this podcast.
What do you think?
In this podcast, Jack missed the World Cup Final so Rich summarised it for him.
Have you ever missed anything important? Where did you watch the World Cup Final? Who were you with?
Do you know any more collocations with 'match' and 'game'?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and complete the task above by summarising something you've seen or read about recently!